Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye, 2011...Hello, 2012!

2011 has been a life changing year for me.  In the last 12 months I have:

  • Traveled to: Nevada (once), New York (twice), Connecticut (twice), and California (thrice) :-)
  • Experienced IVF (complete with learning how to inject (and be injected with) hormones)
  • Become pregnant, carried, and birthed 2 babies
  • Grown my family by 4, and friends by many more
  • Developed a blog which has allowed me to "meet" many people from around the world
  • Discovered a strong desire to speak with others (with a great deal of pride) about the surrogacy process
  • Learned that there is a big, big world out there that I want to experience

The journey that I have taken this past year has created in me, pride, confidence and strength.  

When I set out on this journey, I anticipated that I would devote approximately one year of my life to help grow a family.  I knew that the gift that I would give would be something that I would be proud of until my dying day.  Now here I sit, one year later having given that gift and the pride that I feel is truly indescribable.  What I did not anticipate is that along with that pride comes a very special relationship with 2 men and their children.  I can't (and don't want to) remember what life was like without them.  I am proud to have been able to help. I am proud to have them be a part of my life.  I am proud to be a part of theirs.

For me, that pride created confidence.  Confidence in myself and confidence in sharing about the surrogacy process.  I have shared with many people about our journey and the more I shared, the more confident I became.  I soon found that speaking with others, both in person and through the blog, was something that I thoroughly enjoyed doing. I also quickly learned that I was capable of making a difference in people's perception of surrogacy in general, and of being a surrogate for a gay couple.  

The pride and confidence have morphed into strength...more specifically, a lack of fear.  My eyes have been opened to a big world, with many people who are different in every way.  Before this year, I think I found comfort in "sameness".  Now I see the beauty in variety and I love it!  I want to experience the world and the wide variety of people who inhabit it!

As I look forward to 2012, there are many question marks.  What will my life look like?  What will I experience?  How could it possibly compare to my 2011? 

Although question marks are not my favorite thing in life, I am working on my attitude regarding them.  My resolution for 2012?

Embrace Life.

I will be ok with change.  I will welcome adventure.  I will make smart decisions and take advantage of opportunities that might be presented to me.  I will experience more.  I will fear less.  

And most importantly, I will enjoy all of the moments, because all of these moments add up to a lifetime.  

So 2012 ~ You've got some big shoes to fill!  I know you'll have a lot in store for me and I'm ready!  Bring it on!!!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good As New!

Those were the words that the the doctor used to describe my recovery at my post-natal appointment today!

She went on to say that my body shows no signs of having carried and delivered twins just 7.5 weeks ago!  

She continued by adding that the skin on my stomach looked great for having carried 2 babies and wanted to know if I had gotten any stretch marks?

Ummm....Perhaps you should have your eyes checked, Doc. :-) Lol!

Way to make a girl feel good, right?  Yay, Jeni!  Although I have felt 100% for many weeks, it's always great to hear the doctor confirm that indeed, all is well. I've gotta say...I'm pretty darn proud of my almost 37 year old body! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Good Ol' Google

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love Google.  I Google often. Multiple times a day, easily.   I find it absolutely fascinating that you can type in just about anything and find the information you're looking for. Usually I find lots of information I wasn't looking for as well!

As a blog author, I am able to see stats about the blog and one of the stats that I enjoy looking at the most is where my readers are coming from...meaning how did they get to our page?  We get quite a few people who have Googled something and ended up on this blog.  Not only does the stats report tell me how many hits we've received from Google, but it tells me what words were typed to land them here.  Many times it makes perfect sense, they were clearly looking for this exact page. Sometimes though, it is comical how a certain search could lead them to Love Makes A Family! My 5 favorites to date:

#5   "3 Rotten Bananas"

Hub-a-what, you say?  I'm guessing it has to do with this post.  How funny, right?  I wonder what the reaction was when they got to this blog!  Lol!

#4   "Deepest Belly Button"

Now... WE all know that I have the world's deepest belly button, and anyone Googling to see if theirs was the deepest now knows that too! 

#3   "George and Farid's Surrogate"

I'm pretty sure this search means I am now famous.  Haha!  Seriously though...Yes, I am Jeni, and there's more to me than just surrogacy, but I've got to tell you, there's a whole lot of pride wrapped up in the fact that I am George and Farid's surrogate.

#2   "Gay Dads With Babies"

I love this one.  Yes. Gay men can and are having babies.  I sure hope that anyone who found this blog that wanted to know more about it read our story and saw the beauty in gay dads having babies.


#1   "Heart Shaped Uterus"

I'm quite certain that these folks did not find what they were looking for,
but by God, my uterus IS heart shaped. 

For sure.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Featured Blog of the Week

2 men from Prague have just gotten the spectacular news
that they have a baby on the way! 
That's right!
We have one very strong heartbeat thumping away inside Jesse's belly! 

Follow Jesse's Blog:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Blog!

One year ago today, Love Makes A Family was born.

One year.

Look at what can happen in just a year's time!

I never, EVER expected this blog to be what it has become.

First, it makes me so happy to know that the journey that we took to bring
Milena and Gustavo into this world is documented.
I hope that one day they will read this.
And that they will be able to see how much love there was,
from so many people,
even before they ever took their first breath.

I also never expected to meet so many people as a result of the blog!
Great friendships have been formed!
A huge support system has been built!

Finally, a writer has been born!
I love writing for this blog!
It is fun!  It is therapeutic!  It's challenging and rewarding at the same time!

Who knew?
Who knew how much my life would change?

Just because of a little ol' blog.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Want Men!

I knew that title would get you to open up this post!

You naughty, naughty readers!  :-)

One week ago, we launched the Love Makes A Family 2011 Facebook Page!  I started this page so that there would be a place that we could all share and celebrate!  This page is just a fun, positive, uplifting place where ANY and ALL can come to share and/or read about amazing lives and families while celebrating the fact that it is simply LOVE that makes a family! We have some pretty spectacular stories to share after all...don't you agree?!  I am excited to report that we now have 35 likes and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know some of you better!  I have even been lucky enough to communicate with a few of you privately through email/facebook messages!  It's been so fun to get to know some of the people who have been following our journey!


We have NO men!!!  We need some men to represent!

I know Kevin said he's not on Facebook (which I think is a darn shame), but what about the rest of you?  We NEED some male perspective on our page!  Some of you have had some awfully cutie-pa-tootie kiddos that we'd love to hear about!  Others have babies on the way!  Some of you are husbands supporting your wives who are surrogates.  We've got lots of men here!  I said it once and I'll say it again...

I want men!

I need men!

I won't stop until I have men!

Wow.  I may have gone too far there.  Lol!
How 'bout if I say pretty please?  :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Tale Of 3 Fishies...

...Well, actually 4.

Saturday night I went to my sister's annual Christmas Party.  This party always includes one of those gift exchanges where people can "steal" gifts from one another. It can get brutal to say the least.  This group of friends is always very clever with the gifts and this year was no exception.  One of the gifts that was brought was a goldfish.  The guy who got the goldfish was not the kind of guy who wanted a goldfish.  At all.  :-)  I feared for this fish. I felt sad for this fish.  I had a feeling this fish would meet Mr. Toilet as soon as he got home...IF he ever made it home!

So I stole that gift.

And I loved that fish.

The first time we set eyes on each other, he puffed up his gills, gave me fishie lips and I knew he loved me back.

I drove home very carefully that night with the fish in my lap.

As soon as I woke up the next day, I drove straight to the pet store to get fish food.  Shortly thereafter, the girls and I decided together that this fish was named Hank.  I filled a nice, giant vase with water and waited for it to reach room temperature before I transferred Hank to his new home.  I was excited for Hank's world to be a little brighter in his new habitat.  I had outfitted the glass vase with black rock at the bottom, a nice green plant and some yellow flowers for a splash of color.  (Splash!  Get it! Haha!) It was the perfect home for my little Hank.  I transferred him to the vase and enjoyed watching him swim around with delight!  He gurgled to me: "Thank you, Jeni!  I love my new home!"

2 hours later...Hank was dead. 

Totally floating! 

Skyler and Savannah freaked!

I found it ironic!  I had rescued Hank from a supposed untimely death and here he was...dead as a doornail! I like to think he died a happy mean fish.  :-)

Yesterday I found myself back at the pet store.  This time I would get a Betta fish.  They're hardier, prettier and still cheap as dirt!  :)  You may already know that male Bettas cannot live together.  They will fight to the death.  But females live in peace without so much as an argument!  I find this phenomenon fascinating!  I decided on 3 female Bettas. 

Their names?  What Else?  Phoebe, Rachel and Monica!

Phoebe dove in first.  She checked the place out and seemed to approve.  I added Monica a couple hours later.  Monica really wanted to play with Phoebe but Phoebe was quite shy.  Monica quickly learned to swim up slowly to Phoebe and just "hang out" NEAR her so she wouldn't get scared.  About an hour later, in goes Rachel.  Rachel is the prettiest of the 3 with her teal scales and long tail.  The 3 girls together at last!  Life is good.

Not so much.

Turns out...Rachel is a bully!  She'd puff up her cheeks and dart after Phoebe and Monica who would swim for their lives, gurgling, "Help us, Jeni!"  I gave the girls a bit of time to possibly work through the situation themselves, but after a while, Rachel was really starting to piss me off!  She needed to be removed from the situation! Pronto!  Before someone got hurt!  Quick as a whip I got a Dixie cup, (yes...I forgot to get a fish net from the pet store) sprinkled in a little fish food so Rachel would swim to the top (she attacked both of the other fish on her way to the top) and I trapped that girl before she ever knew what was going on! *Insert evil laugh!*

Monica and Phoebe were a little shaken at first but before long, they resumed their happy, peaceful life together in their beautiful tank. 

The moral of the story?

If you can't play nicely with everyone else... end up in an old piece of tupperware.

This story is based on real fish. 
No fish were harmed during the telling of this story.
If you're feeling sorry for Rachel, don't.
She's getting her own vase with black rock, green plant
...and yellow flowers. 
But she doesn't get any friends. 
Perhaps this is the way she likes it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Back To Yogi!

This week I went back to yoga.  I was really looking forward to seeing all the girls from class!  It was great to catch up with them (and see how big their bellies have gotten) and they were all excited to hear how everything went with labor, delivery and the weeks following delivery.  I don't think they could fully understand or believe me when I told them how natural and calm Farid and George were/are when it comes to babies and parenting!  Lol!  I know it's hard to believe, people...but it's true!!!  :-)

It felt great to get a nice stretch and workout.  I was surprised at how much easier it is to get into, out of, and hold poses when you don't have a basketball attached to your mid-section!  :)  To be able to actually touch the floor again in a forward fold felt fantastic! 

However...I had some and there...where I felt sad. 

I miss the big pregnant belly!  I felt a little jealous seeing all those girls with their beautiful bellies! I miss feeling the life inside of me!  At the end of class, when it came time to focus our energy on the babies, I could distinctly remember how I would gather up all sorts of love and send it to Gustavo and Milena while they were growing inside me. This time, there were no babies inside to send that love to. :-(

So what was I supposed to do, except the obvious:

This time, I gathered up the love and sent it all the way to New York.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

20K Pageviews and A Facebook Page!

20,000 Pageviews!

I love it! 
It's AWESOME that we have had so many people
who are interested in reading about how

Thank you all....very, very much.

And because I think it would be extra awesome, I have created a Facebook page...

Love Makes A Family 2011

A positive, uplifting place
where people can come together to learn, gain support and share
about all of the beautiful ways families are created!

The support system that is created within the blogging community is incredible!  My only complaint?  For the most part, the communication is only in "one-sided" comment form.  I wanted to create a place where we can all share, communicate back and forth, build a broader community and support one another as we tell all of the amazing stories about how families are created! 

So...What are you waiting for?
"LIKE" the page! 


I've added a "Like" Button at the top right hand side of the blog. much easier could I make it for you?  Lol!
I look forward to seeing you all there!!  :-)
Think we can get MORE THAN 10 likes by the end of the day?   20?
This is OUR community!  Let's build it together!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

1 Month Old!

Milena and Gustavo are 1 Month Old today!

Wanna see some more current pictures?

I thought you might.  :)


                   Gustavo                                                                        Milena

Farid with Milena...she looks awfully happy, doesn't she?  :)

Incredibly relaxed Daddies taking care of the babies at the Pediatrician's Office.

Whoever invented the Wubbanub pacifier is a genius!
I would have LOVED to have had them with my girls!

Feeding time for Gustavo!

I love the look on her face here! :)

I can't believe it's only been a month! 
They look so much bigger already! 
 I miss this family very much!
George and Farid~Give those cuties lots of "One Month Old" loves from Jeni!  :-)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dear Mike and Tony

Today, a baby was born.  The only way I can communicate with my "blogfriends" Mike and Tony is to post on my blog so here we are!  :)

Mike and Tony-

Congratulations on your beautiful family!  I was SO excited to read the fantastic news of Zoey's arrival. I had a great big grin on my face and still do.  She's adorable, guys.  So healthy!  And the 2 of you look wonderful with her in your arms.  Enjoy all of these amazing first moments!

Give my love and congratulations to Megan as well. 


4 Weeks Post Delivery

Savannah presented me with this lovely piece of artwork the other day.

Me:  That's very nice, Savannah!
Savvy:  It's you!
Me: How come I still have a pregnant belly?
Savvy:  You don't!  That's just what you look like NOW! HALF pregnant!
Me:  Um. Thanks?

Children.  Gotta love 'em.
Did you notice though how slender my neck is looking?
And apparently overalls are back in.

Here we are 4 weeks post delivery already!  Thought I'd give everyone an update on the weight loss progress! Since delivery I have lost a total of 36 pounds. 33 pounds of that was in the first 3 weeks and I did absolutely nothing (besides deliver) to get that weight off.  For the last week, I've had to work at it a little more...and have managed to lose a few more pounds. 25 pounds to go!  Here is a current photo so you can all see what I look like "half pregnant". :-)

Thursday, December 1, 2011



*No, this has not become a 12 step blog.*

Today, while waiting for Skyler at the Orthodontist, I had a great time sharing pictures and our surrogacy story with the entire office staff.  Yes, the ENTIRE office staff.  It was quite fun. They wanted all the juicy details and I am always happy to give them!  They laughed at some stories, cried at others and by the end of "story time", they were all thanking me for "making their day".  I absolutely love the fact that I can share our story, not having to hide any information and people are ALWAYS supportive and so happy for all of us!  Seriously!  Pretty much everyone I've talked to is thrilled to hear about our story...and I've personally talked to a few (hundred) people about our journey!  Sharing the beauty of surrogacy LOUD and PROUD baby!  :)


While chatting about our story, one gal walked up and wanted to know what we were all having so much fun talking about!  I replied, "We're talking about my journey!  I am a surrogate...." and I had to stop for a moment.  While I continued on with the story, in the back of my mind something had "clicked".

Had I misspoken? 

"I am a surrogate". 

Should I have said, "I was a surrogate"?

For the remainder of the day, I wrestled with the words.

I am passionate about surrogacy.  It is one of the only things in my life that I have ever been passionate about.  Surrogacy is, for sure, the only thing I have ever felt this passionately about.  I am extremely proud! Although my body will not allow me to always be a carrier, I do believe I will always be active in the surrogacy world.  I do not yet know specifics on how, where, or to what capacity that might be...all that I do know is that I want to be a part of it.  I will always be a part of it.

And because of that, I have decided that without a doubt, I can now, and forevermore, say...


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